Renowned pho­tog­ra­pher Steve Mc­curry

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

Steve Mc­curry’s fame sky­rock­eted when, dis­guised in Afghani at­tire, he crossed the Pak­istan bor­der into rebel-con­trolled Afghanista­n, right be­fore the be­gin­ning of Rus­sian In­va­sion in 1979 and cap­tured one of the most heart­break­ing im­ages from the war-torn coun­try. One of those iconic im­ages was the Afghan Girl, a pierc­ing pho­to­graph of a girl whose sear­ing green eyes gar­nered the at­ten­tion of the world.

Since then, the Phil­a­del­phia-born pho­tog­ra­pher has won nu­mer­ous awards, in­clud­ing the pres­ti­gious Robert Capa Gold Medal and the World Press Photo Con­test, and got­ten his works pub­lished and ex­hib­ited around the world. Mc­curry con­tin­ues to amass cap­ti­vat­ing im­ages of van­ish­ing cul­tures, pow­er­ful an­i­mals and for­got­ten rit­u­als through a vi­brant and hu­mane lens, in­clud­ing those he took on his re­cent trav­els with Sil­versea Cruises. The small lux­ury ships sail to over 1,000 fas­ci­nat­ing des­ti­na­tions in the spirit of dis­cov­ery.

“Lux­ury is about hav­ing the time and the op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn about a place, hav­ing some lo­cal as­sis­tance that can help you dis­cover the lo­ca­tion and have a mean­ing­ful ex­pe­ri­ence,” states Steve Mc­curry on his def­i­ni­tion of lux­ury travel. This pas­sion to travel deeper led him to wit­ness the giant tor­toises of Galá­pa­gos Is­land in their nat­u­ral habi­tat and have a close en­counter with the last re­main­ing moun­tain go­ril­las in the jun­gle of Virunga Moun­tains, East Africa.

Can you tell us about your cur­rent pro­ject or pre­oc­cu­pa­tion?

I came back from a trip to Oax­aca, Mex­ico with Sil­versea Cruises to pho­to­graph the Day of the Dead. At the mo­ment, I am cur­rently work­ing on a long-term book pro­ject on Bud­dhism and sup­port­ing my sis­ter, Bon­nie Mc­curry, to pro­mote the book that she com­piled and wrote, Steve Mc­curry: A Life in Pic­tures.

Is there still a place in the world that you have never vis­ited and would like to ex­plore deeper?

I feel very lucky that, at this point in my ca­reer, it is much eas­ier for me to list the coun­tries I haven’t been to, than the ones I have vis­ited. Even so, I have barely scratched the sur­face of what is out there to see. I would love to be able to visit North Ko­rea or Iran. We are work­ing on this trip to Antarc­tica and I feel very lucky to have this unique op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover new places with Sil­versea. It was al­ways my dream to visit the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands. Be­ing in such close prox­im­ity to go­ril­las in Uganda or snow mon­keys in Ja­pan was also a thrill.

How do you travel for leisure? Is there a par­tic­u­lar rit­ual when you ex­plore a new place? I’m al­ways cu­ri­ous about my des­ti­na­tion. But when I travel some­where new, I wan­der and ob­serve without any pre­con­ceived ideas. Is there a des­ti­na­tion or cul­ture that con­tin­ues to in­spire you and makes you want to dig deeper?

Even in the coun­tries I have vis­ited the most - In­dia, China, Bhutan, or Ti­bet for ex­am­ple - there are count­less towns or re­mote vil­lages that I would still love to ex­plore. There are sit­u­a­tions, ru­ral life­style, habits, or rit­u­als that I would like to cap­ture be­fore they fade away. The pic­tures I took of the mud men, the Asaro tribes­peo­ple, is one ex­am­ple. They live in the ru­ral high­lands of eastern Pa­pua New Guinea, iso­lated from tourism and moder­nity. Their en­dur­ing rit­u­al­is­tic dance in­volves smear­ing their bod­ies in mud and don­ning heavy clay masks. Its ori­gin re­mains a mys­tery. I’ve been fas­ci­nated with the cul­ture of Pa­pua New Guinea my whole life so to be able to cap­ture those im­ages was really spe­cial. Name one mem­o­rable din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence you have had on your trav­els?

In the Ja­panese Alps dur­ing a trip with Sil­versea in Jan­uary 2017. We dressed in tra­di­tional yukata and had what seemed like a 15-course meal, kaiseki, with the most el­e­gant pre­sen­ta­tion at Biyu e no Yado, a ryokan in Nagano.

Win­ter in Ja­pan Go­rilla of Virunga Moun­tains of East Africa

The Gala­pa­gos Is­lands The Asaro Mud­men of Pa­pua New Guinea

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